HomeRegional NewsEast AfricaUganda launches Africa’s first solar-powered bus

Uganda launches Africa’s first solar-powered bus

In East Africa, Uganda has leap frogged into a new era of generating power having recently launched the first solar-powered bus in Africa.

The Kayoola solar vehicle, is one of three electric vehicles developed by Ugandan-based Kiira Motors Corporation.

Solar-powered bus for Africa

Powered solely by electricity and solar photovoltaic (PV) rooftop panels, the bus, which seats 35 passengers, doesn’t possess an engine, according to Mario Obuwa, the project’s chief engineer, in a report by Voice of America.

According to the CEO of the motor company, Paul Isaac Musasizi, the idea of this design is to enable the downstream aspects of the automotive value chain to open doors for the youth.

“What is driving the bus is a motor, a traction motor, which is being run by a battery and the battery banks are the ones that are linked to the solar system that’s on the roof,” he said in an interview with Climate Leader.

Musasizi added that Uganda is committed to green mobility as the panacea to climate change, especially with the continent’s growing population and need for significant economic growth.

Vehicle technology

PV Magazine reported that the solar-powered bus can achieve 80km on a single charge, with the solar panels able to extend that range by an additional 12km.

The Kayoola can be recharged using solar power or by connecting it to an electric power source.

According to media, the electric public transport vehicle is marketed at $140,000, however it is expected that this will drop to $55,000 if mass produced.

The government is still in the process of approving the prototype for official inclusion in the public transport realm.


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Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.